Jan
02
2013

Fraud alert should not cause an increase in apartment fees

 

Dear Experian,

My apartment complex raised my fees because you reported, “APPLICANT: High Probability SSN Belongs to Another. There is an excellent chance that the Social Security number on the application belongs to someone else. This is highly indicative of fraudulent activity. Carefully verify the identity of the applicant before proceeding.” Does Experian make such claims?

- ATR

Dear ATR,

As part of its fraud prevention services Experian alerts businesses if information in a credit report indicates an increased risk of fraud. Such an alert enables businesses to take additional steps to verify the identity of the individual, protecting both you and them from identity theft.

The alert doesn’t mean the business should automatically deny an application or increase fees or rates. Rather, it should prompt the business to request additional identification information or documentation to ensure you are who you say you are and not an identity thief before proceeding.

It’s not clear from your email whether the fees were for an existing lease or related to a new lease application.

A credit report isn’t usually reviewed by an apartment management company except when you are applying for a new lease. Often, the management company will conduct a more thorough background check including previous rental history.

You should ask your property manager for a more complete explanation of why your fees were increased or if there may have been reasons other than the credit report for the increase.

Thanks for asking.

The “Ask Experian” team

Our policies for Ask Experian:

The information contained in Ask Experian is for educational purposes only and is not legal advice. You should consult your own attorney or seek specific advice from a legal professional regarding your particular situation. Please understand that Experian policies change over time. Posts reflect Experian policy at the time of writing. While maintained for your information, archived posts may not reflect current Experian policy. The Ask Experian team cannot respond to each question individually. However, if your question is of interest to a wide audience of consumers, the Experian team will include it in a future post.